A counting-out game
is a simple game intended to select a person
to be "it", often for the purpose of playing another game. Some counting-out games are
Many such games involve one person pointing at each participant in a circle of players while reciting a rhyme. A new person is pointed at as each word is said. The player who is selected at the conclusion of the rhyme is "it" or "out". In an alternate version, the circle of players may each put two feet in and at the conclusion of the rhyme, that player removes one foot and the rhyme starts over with the next person. In this case, the first player that has both feet removed is "it" or "out". These are often accepted as random selections because the number of words has not been calculated beforehand, so the result is unknown right up until someone is selected.
Some common rhymes
- One potato, two potato
- Three potato, four,
- Five potato, six potato,
- Seven potato, more,
- One big bad spud.
- Ink-a-bink (Last two lines added if the chooser happens to like the person singled out by the "stink")
- A bottle of ink
- Cork fell out and you stink
- My mother told me to pick the very best one and
- You are not it
- Bubblegum, bubblegum,
- In a dish,
- How many pieces,
- Do you wish?
Whomever the rhyme ends with chooses a number, and that many "pieces" are counted. The person on whom the last number falls is out.
- Superman, Superman fly away
- Superman, Superman save the day
- Inky pinky ponky,
- Daddy had a donkey,
- Donkey died, daddy cried,
- Inky pinky ponky.
- skunk in the barnyard Pee Yoo!
- somebody ate it, thats YOU!
- Number horses in a stable,
- One jumps out
In place of the word number, the number of players currently in is used, changing as the players are taken out.
- My Mother and Your Mother
- My mother and your mother were hanging up clothes,
- My mother punched your mother right in the nose.
- What color was the blood?
The color chosen is spelled out. Whoever gets the last letter is "it."
- Cindereller, Dressed in yeller
- Went upstairs To kiss her feller
- Made a mistake and Kissed a snake
- Came downstairs with a bellyache
- How many doctors did it take?
Whoever is #8 is it.
- You're out